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The Universe Forum's role as part of NASA's Education Support Network concluded in September, 2009. Please visit NASA at for current information about NASA's science, education, and public outreach activities.

about the forum


Who We Are
The Universe Forum is a national center for teaching and learning about the scientific study of the Structure and Evolution of the Universe (SEU). With the help of our NASA SEU mission and research partners, we aim to foster collaborations that use the unique resources of NASA's space science research program to create exciting and substantive learning experiences for students, teachers, and the public.

We are based at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, a member of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, MA. The CfA is home to over 300 Smithsonian and Harvard scientists researching the physical processes that determine the nature and evolution of the universe; our Science Education Department is world-renowned for its educational research, development, and media projects.  

Using questions about the universe, how it began, how it is evolving, and our place within it, the Universe Forum engages the public in the deepest mysteries of the cosmos - such as the origin of time, the nature of black holes, the secrets of dark energy, and the ecology of our unfolding universe - promoting understanding of the common principles underlying all science. Contact the Universe Forum at

What We Do
The Universe Forum is involved in a number of projects, programs, and partnerships that bring the exploration of the structure and evolution of the universe to students, teachers and the public:

Formal Education - In order to enhance the quality of science, mathematics, and technology education at the pre-college level, we produce classroom curriculum tools and professional development programs for educators, based on research investigations of science learning and teaching:

  • MicroObservatory national online telescope network
  • Space Science Assessment Project
  • Cosmology DVD Project for Professional Development
  • Modeling the Universe NSTA short course
  • Cosmic Questions Education Program

Informal Education - In order to share the excitement of space science discoveries with the public, we facilitate the presentation of programs, exhibitions, and multi-media products in museums, planetariums, and other out-of-school learning environments:

Building Learning Communities - We make our research and materials widely available through print, Internet, teleconferencing, hands-on workshops, exhibits at science and education conferences, and other media, and through our partners. Our partnerships and collaborations include the following regional and national organizations:

  • American Association of Physics Teachers
  • Association of Science-Technology Centers
  • Astronomical Society of the Pacific
  • Boston Public Schools
  • Boston 2 to 6 Afterschool Initiative
  • Cambridge Public Schools
  • Hispanic Office of Planning and Evaluation
  • International Planetarium Society
  • Latino After-School Initiative
  • National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers
  • National Science Teachers Association

Our NASA Education and Public Outreach Partners
Visit our Missions Page to find out about our partners from NASA missions that study the Structure and Evolution of the Universe. The Universe Forum is part of the greater NASA Education and Public Outreach community. Consisting of four Education Forums and seven Broker/Facilitators, NASA's Office of Space Science (OSS) Support Network connects scientists with educators, educational programs and the public. Connect with the Forums to explore the exciting themes of NASA space science research and education, or find a Broker/Facilitator in your area and learn about individual collaborations in your geographic region.


Structure and Evolution of the Universe (SEU) Forum
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, MA

Astronomical Search for Origins and Planetary Systems (ASO) Forum
Space Telescope Science Institute, MD

Solar System Exploration (SSE) Forum
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CA

Sun-Earth Connection (SEC) Forum (East Coast)
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, MD

Sun-Earth Connection (SEC) Forum (West Coast)
University of California, Berkeley, CA


Upper Northeast Region Broker
New England Space Science Initiative in Education (NESSIE) at the Museum of Science, MA

Mid-Atlantic Region Broker
Mid-Atlantic Region Space Science Broker (MARSSB), at the Center for Educational Technology, WV

Southeast Region Broker
Southeast Regional Clearinghouse (SERCH), at the College of Charleston, SC

Upper Midwest Region Broker
DePaul Space Science Center for Education and Outreach, at DePaul University, IL

South and Lower Midwest Region Broker
SCORE Broker, at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), TX

Upper Northwest Region Broker
Space Science Network Northwest (S2N2) at the University of Washington, WA

Upper Midwest and Lower Southwest Region Broker
Western Region Broker, at Space Science Institute (SSI), CO

For a map of the Forums and Brokers across the country, visit

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